Local artist Patty Coulter is just one of a number of artisans who have donated pieces of their work for this weekend’s seventh annual Habitat for Humanity Home and Garden Art Auction.
Coulter’s offerings include two samples of her reduction linoleum block printmaking, a form of relief printmaking. The colorful prints are of a screech owl and a swallowtail butterfly. (Photos of all items to be offered at the auction can be viewed at www.picherealtyauction.com/auction_list.php)
“Relief printmaking is the oldest form of printmaking,” Coulter said. Using a block of linoleum (wood can also be used), she carves an image out of the block, leaving the areas to be printed raised. The raised areas are then inked with special inks and pressed onto a piece of paper. A smooth object, such as a baren or wooden spoon is used to rub the back of the paper. In this way the inked image is transferred.
“A very simple form of relief printmaking is to cut sections out of the end of a potato, apply paint and press onto paper,” Coulter said. “Many people may remember doing an art project like this in elementary school.”
One method for adding several colors to a print is called reduction linoleum printmaking and this is the method Coulter uses. “This technique is an adaptation of the Japanese form of printmaking or ‘hanga’ method,” she said. “Multi- color prints were the main art form in Japan for centuries.”
In the reduction method one block is carved and then printed in a series of stages.
“One must visualize and be able to plan all stages before the first color is printed,” Coulter emphasized. “The block is carved away and ‘reduced’ throughout the procedure, therefore its name.”
Coulter, a former Madison County High School art teacher, also serves on the Madison County Habitat for Humanity board and points out that the annual auction is a significant fundraiser for the group, which is a small rural affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and is run by an all-volunteer crew.
In the past five years, Habitat has purchased ten acres, installed infrastructure and built four houses in their Habitat village, located in Comer. Since it began in 1998, Madison County Habitat has built a total of six houses, according to their website.
The Home and Garden Art Auction will be held this Saturday, Nov. 21, at Boutier Winery, beginning with a silent auction from 5 to 7 p.m.
During the silent auction, attendees can enjoy food, wine and smooth jazz performed by the Athens A-Train band. A live auction with auctioneer Phil Piche’ will begin at 7:30 p.m. featuring art work and homemade and handmade goods by local artisans and vendors.
Habitat board members say this is a great opportunity to find special one-of-a-kind gifts, while helping the local Habitat for Humanity build and provide affordable housing for county families.
Admission is $12 for an advance ticket, or $15 at the door.
Boutier Winery is located 4506 Hudson River Church Road. For directions, call 706-789-0059 or visit their website at www.boutierwinery.com
For more information on the Madison County Habitat for Humanity, call 706-7834191 or visit their website at www.madisoncountyhfh.org